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The Green Caltrain blog is sponsored by BayRail Alliance, an all-volunteer non-profit organization supporting green rail transit in the Bay Area. This blog and BayRail have no affiliation with Caltrain.


12 ways you can make Caltrain better in 2014

In the next year, decisions about Caltrain will shape transit service in our region for decades to come. Your help will be needed for Caltrain to modernize, serve riders, and serve our communities.

Here are 12 ways you can help in the New Year.

1) Strategic Plan: Thanks to everyone who came out on December 16 and who posted comments online – your vision includes more frequent all-day service, level boarding for faster service and better transfers, grade separations for safety and reliability, and of course wifi. Watch for more chances to weigh in this Spring.

2) Capacity Crunch:  the most popular baby bullets have been standing room only. Watch for announcement in early 2014 about new train cars and opportunities to restore service to ease the capacity crunch

3) Downtown Extension to Transbay: The Transbay team had a dramatic proposal to get Caltrain tracks extended to downtown San Francisco by 2022.  Can this be done?   Watch and weigh into the key decisions at the Transbay board this winter.

4) Electrification: The Caltrain electrification environmental impact report is due this winter – with estimates about the financial benefits of electrified Caltrain, tree and traffic impacts in your city, and more.

5) Electric train car shopping.  In 2014 Caltrain will decide what train cars to buy, including decisions about level boarding, high speed rail compatibility, and space for bikes.

6) Electrification funding. About half of the funding for Caltrain electrification comes from the High Speed Rail project.   Watch for updates on HSR seeking routes out of its legal woes, and potential backup plans to fund electrification if needed.

7) Stable funding.  San Francisco is planning a 2014 ballot measure to keep their commitments to Caltrain – and Muni, and safe biking and walking.  Watch for ways to help in SF – and more on plans for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

8) Grade separations.  San Mateo County is giving grants for grade separations to improve safety, reliability, and traffic. Santa Clara County intends to consider grade separations in their next strategic plan. San Francisco is studying a dramatic proposal to turn the end of 280 into a boulevard, extend DTX, and ease Muni to MissionBay – watch for a study that’s getting started now

9) Station area planning.  San Jose Diridon,  Sunnyvale Lawrence, and South San Francisco are planning to take better advantage of Caltrain. Watch for chances to improve the places you live and work.

10) City support: in San Mateo, Redwood City, Mountain View, and maybe Palo Alto and Menlo Park, cities are taking responsibility for traffic, parking, and transit access. Stay tuned and help your community take responsibility for transportation.

11) Do you appreciate these updates about opportunities to save and improve Caltrain?  Click here to donate

12) Do you have skills or referrals for nonprofit accounting services, basic web design help, and blogging/social media? Let me know at adina.levin@friendsofcaltrain.com

Do you have friends who’ll want to help making Caltrain better?  Invite them to join.

Something else important that’s missing from this list?  Add your ideas in comments.


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    Total Comments 677.

  • Interactive Caltrain schedule

  • Calendar of events

    • May 1, 2014

      Caltrain JPB meeting

      Starts: 10:00 am

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos

    • May 7, 2014

      SamTrans Board meeting

      Starts: 2:00 pm

      Location: 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA

    • May 8, 2014

      TJPA Board Meeting

      Starts: 9:30 am

      Location: City Hall, Room 416, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102

    • May 13, 2014

      TJPA CAC Meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: 201 Mission Street, Suite 2100 San Francisco, CA

    • May 15, 2014

      Caltrain BAC meeting

      Starts: 6:30 pm

      Location: 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos, CA

      Description: Bicycle Advisory Committee

    • May 21, 2014

      Caltrain CAC meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos

    • June 4, 2014

      SamTrans Board meeting

      Starts: 2:00 pm

      Location: 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA

    • June 5, 2014

      Caltrain JPB meeting

      Starts: 10:00 am

      Location: Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium San Mateo County Transit District 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos

    • June 10, 2014

      TJPA CAC Meeting

      Starts: 5:30 pm

      Location: 201 Mission Street, Suite 2100 San Francisco, CA

    • June 12, 2014

      TJPA Board Meeting

      Starts: 9:30 am

      Location: City Hall, Room 416, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102